AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerMixing Advertising and Politics

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Mixing Advertising and Politics

There has been a wall between brand building and politics for years. Most corporations just support causes in one way or another, instead of outright advertising support. But that is starting to change.Politics American Election Concept Donkey vs Elephant

Companies that are looking for an edge in this hyper-competitive marketplace are finding ways to be relevant and that means connecting with an audience in a meaningful way. Consumers are also asking companies and organizations what their political stands are. CEOs and board members from Apple, Facebook, Chick-fil-A, Uber and Coors have been outspoken proponents for one way of political thinking or another.

“While from the outside, it might appear that brands taking this position are potentially ostracizing an audience that doesn’t agree with their viewpoint, it makes sense for a brand like Diesel or Nike – whose target audiences are largely young and urban – to assume that these messages will be appreciated,” says Eliza Williams, Advertising Age (Creative Review)

In a recent report by Ipsos (Brand Risk in the New Age of Populism, June 2017) one quarter of people had stopped using a product or service of a company because of its political leaning. That may not sound too bad — 25% — but in this marketplace that could kill many businesses or nonprofits.

Taking a stand may look brave, sexy and needed in this current climate, but hold fast to your brand’s stand and don’t muddy your brand platform and alienate a significant part of your target audience. Leave the politics for the table and bars and the political ads — we all know there are plenty of those already.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.